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Page last updated at 07:10 GMT, Thursday, 8 November 2012
Today: Thursday 8th November

Today China will begin the process of choosing the men who will lead them over the next ten years. The NHS has been told it must be tougher in negotiations on future private sector contracts. How the political soothsayer Nate Silver struck gold. And also on the programme, Silence: how to find it and why you need it.

We are no longer providing clips of every part of the programme but you will be able to listen via the BBC iPlayer .


Business news with Simon Jack on news that the victory celebrations did not last long for President Obama, with big falls across US stock markets yesterday.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The Anglican Church has decided on its new leader, the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Ruth Gledhill, religion correspondent for The Times, explains what the Rt. Rev Justin Welby, the bishop of Durham, will do for the church.

It has emerged that the UK's first privately run NHS hospital, named Circle, generated a deficit more than twice as high as planned. Margaret Hodge, the MP who chairs the Commons Public Accounts Committee, and Ali Parsa, the co-founder of Circle, discuss the financial challenges that the hospital is facing.

The China Communist Party Congress begins today, leading up to the announcement on November 15th of the new party leadership. The BBC's Martin Patience reports that the congress will focus on the leadership change of the world's biggest political party.

Business news with Simon Jack.

Police forces have to find a cheaper way of working as their budgets are being cut by up to 20% over the coming years. The Today programme's Sarah Montague looks further into what some officers say is the creeping privatisation of the police.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.

The union that represents university staff wants an inquiry into where universities get their money from. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, and Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, examine whether universities should accept donations.

The paper review.


The New York Times blogger Nate Silver has been hailed as an unexpected star in the business of predicting who will win the US Presidential election. Marcus du Sautoy, professor of maths at New College, discusses whether the formula that Mr Silver used to predict the results could be applied more widely.

Thought for the Day with John Bell of the Iona Community.


The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has said he wants to make Britain one of the best places in Europe in the way it cares for those with dementia. Jeremy Hunt explains what he will be announcing in a new scheme today.


Today China will begin the process of choosing the men who will lead them over the next ten years. The BBC's world editor John Simpson is in Beijing and has been finding our how much say the people will have in election of their new leader. Stephen Perry, chairman of the 48 Group Club and chief executive of the London Export Corporation, and Dr Zhengxu Wang, deputy director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, examine the political direction in which the party wishes to move.

A new book published today argues that here in the west we are often uncomfortable with silence, and underestimate its value. Graham
Turner, author of The Power of Silence, and Sister Anne Morris, deputy director of St Beuno's Ignatian Spirituality Centre, analyse the benefits of silence.

Sports news with Garry Richardson.


US President Obama has elected to a second term. Reporting from Washington DC, the Today programme's Jim Naughtie asks what now for the Republicans, and what will a renewed mandate allow Obama to do?

According to the government, the new police commissioners for England and Wales will represent the people. Mary Robinson, an independent councillor who has experience with community safety and youth projects, and David Bowles, who is running under a new party called Campaign to keep Politics out of Policing, discuss the extent of political independence with in the police force.

Today is the start of the consultation process on how to cut the armed forces and increase the reservist force by 50%, which was announced as a key part of the strategic defence and security review (SDSR). General Graeme Lamb, a retired army officer, and John Cridland, director general of the CBI, discuss how this will affect employers and the proposed shape of the reservist army.

Business news with Simon Jack.

The London Jazz Festival starts this weekend, and amid the talent and great music is the three-time Grammy award-winning American artist Lucinda Williams. The BBC's correspondent Alastair Leithead met her in Los Angeles.

An American study into the source of happiness that has followed the lives of 268 men from youth to old age has shown that it is not the attributes you are born with that lead to happiness. Director of the study George Vaillant explains what it is that leads to happiness.

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